Big Laurel Learning Center

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

2020 Vision
Who owns Appalachia?    Established in 1976 as a community education endeavor, Big Laurel continues to offer programs that strive to build a stronger, healthier community and encourage individuals to reach their fullest potential. 
    Wondering what we have planned for 2020? Here’s our vision for the coming year. 
    In 2020 we plan to offer hospitality for 200 visitors, host 20 service immersion groups, enrich 48 campers' summers through 4 weeks of camp, help 8 high school students set goals and succeed academically, accompany 60 people through addiction recovery, and continue our 44-year legacy of healing & social change by providing education, outreach and spiritual renewal.
    We couldn't do any of this without your financial and spiritual support! Please donate today to help us reach our annual budget of $82,000!

Donate Online
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Or send check by mail to:
PO Box 266 Kermit, WV 25674

Board of Directors
Sr. Lillian Jordan, President
Lydia Noyes, Secretary
Elizabeth Collins
Rebecca Hooker
Pat Mosunic
Jennifer Sartin
Jeff Varney
If you or someone you know would make a good board member, fill out an application at

Mountain Community Update
    This fall we welcomed Joe Solomon and Justin Rodriguez as our two new Notre Dame AmeriCorps members. They are both living at the Knob house and serving as teaching assistants at the Kermit Pk-8 grade school, mentors for Tug Valley High School students, and hosts for on-site visiting groups. 
    At the end of this past summer, we bid farewell to RJ Flinn after a year of dedicated service. He is now studying at Truman State University in Missouri. 
    Grace Williams is entering her second year as director at Big Laurel. She is assisting with the gardening program at Kermit Pk-8, scheduling visiting groups for next spring, and leading a new mentor program at Tug Valley High School. 
    She is also involved in West Virginia’s chapter of the Appalachian Land Study. This team of community organizers are uncovering who owns land in the region, how that property is taxed, and how it impacts the greater community.
     Sister Kathy is working part time as the Notre Dame AmeriCorps site director. 
     Kathy also provides outreach in the community, including emergency food assistance for hungry families, especially around the holidays, and mentorship and fellowship with people in addiction recovery at Serenity Pointe in Williamson, WV.
     Sister Gretchen is continuing to serve in a supportive role. As director emeritus, she maintains excellent relationships with donors and serves as sounding board, proof reader, and mentor for the current director. She is also happy to bake fresh bread and whip up her famous butter whenever the occasion arises.  
     Rebecca Hooker is on the advancement committee for Big Laurel and on the Board of Directors. When she isn’t working at the Williamson Farmers Market or Health and Wellness Center, Rebecca also serves as an excellent cook and host for visiting groups.
    Jacob Zondag, Notre Dame AmeriCorps 2016-2018, continues to live and work in the Kermit community. He is currently teaching music at Kermit Pk-8 and volunteers regularly at Big Laurel to help with meals, photography, and social media. 
Thank you for a great 2019!

    This past year would not have been possible without your love and generosity. Thank you to the following for coming to visit and joining our community in loving service! 
Arrupe Scholars of Wheeling Jesuit University – service learning, outreach, and spring cleaning at Big Laurel; BB&T of Kermit’s Lighthouse Project – community service day and generous donations of bunk beds and mulch; Bonnie McCall Williams – summer camp volunteer; Calvin University – community gardens, outreach, and service at Big Laurel; Charleston Catholic High School – firewood cutting; Claire Stoll – summer camp coordinator and mentor; Clifford M. Lewis Appalachian Institute – coordinated service immersion trips with a rural health care focus; Danny McDonald – brought friends for firewood cutting; Emmaus Farm Staff, Sarah George and Theresa Lashinski – summer camp mentors; Karis Roper Welsh – summer camp mentor and generous donor; Kent State University – community gardens, outreach and service at Big Laurel; Live the Good group, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and associates – firewood cutting weekend; Loyola University Chicago – health care themed service immersion trip; Molloy College – summer camp mentors and generous donors; Molloy College alumni – high school mentorship program and generous donors; Molloy College alumni, Chrissy and Cindy – generous donors and visitors; Notre Dame Mission Volunteer AmeriCorps members of Cincinnati and Dayton – cemetery clean up and service; Paul and Dottie Winberry – maintenance and visiting at Big Laurel; Project FACTS Retreat Group – retreat; Rachel Watson – summer intern and summer camp mentor; Serenity Pointe – service at Big Laurel; St. Ignatius Catholic Church – construction work, community outreach, generous donors; St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy – construction service work group and summer camp mentors; St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy staff – firewood cutting weekend; St. Louis University – health care themed service immersion trip; Tug Valley High School students and alumni – summer camp mentors 
    We had many more friends come to Big Laurel throughout the year. These are just a few of the working visitors. If we left you off, send us a note and we’ll include you in our next online newsletter! 

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PO Box 266 Kermit, WV 25674 | 304-393-4103 

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Big Laurel Learning Center · PO Box 991 · Kermit, WV 25674 · USA

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